Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Cochran 

For someone who has co-sponsored 91 bills and resolutions during the 109th congress, it's unfortunate that Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) has decided to not co-sponsor Landrieu's Senate Resolution 39.

From the Clarion-Ledger:

Republican Sen. Thad Cochran said Tuesday he declined to co-sponsor a popular resolution apologizing for Senate inaction on lynchings because he felt he could not apologize "for something I did not do."

"I don't feel that I should apologize for the passage or the failure to pass any legislation by the U.S. Senate," Cochran said. "But I deplore and regret that lynchings occurred and that those committing them were not punished."

In the past, Cochran has signed on as a co-sponsor of bills apologizing for the U.S. government's mistreatment of American Indians and Japanese Americans. The difference is the lynching resolution was not an apology on behalf of the federal government but just the Senate.

Cochran could not be reached for comment for further clarification of his position.

I will be interested to see Senator Thad's full explanation for his principled decision. It's regrettable that more lynchings occurred in the fragrant Magnolia state than any other (at least 581), and that Mississippi Senators open themselves up to (sometimes reckless) criticism by refusing to support the Senate's apology.

For those who believe the Senate's apology is an empty, insufficient gesture-- Yes! I agree with you! Let's do more! How about some meaningful restitution to the affected families and their direct descendants? Perhaps $1 or $2 million each-- or were you envisaging a larger number?



"Proud perpetrator posing for this photo postcard sent through the mail
in Mississippi in the early 1900s."
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